The Hamilton Beach’s 3-inch chute was a breeze by comparison: We were able to drop in large apple halves and entire celery stalks without a problem. Most budget competitors we tested had an extremely narrow feed chute that required us to chop our apples into sixteenths to get them to fit — a process we’re reluctant to commit to for our daily juice.
Another important consideration is where you plan to store your juicer and how easily you’ll want to access it. While horizontal-masticating juicers can churn out high volumes of juice, you may not have space for them. Plus, they tend to weigh more so tend to be difficult to move from closet to counter. The small footprint of vertical juicers is ideal for smaller kitchens with limited counter space and can often tuck under cabinets. Lightweight centrifugal models are perfect if you need to move your juicer from storage space to counter. Just make sure whatever model you pick can handle the volume of juice you plan to make: smaller juicers equal smaller amounts of juice per batch.
Low foam production: The foam that accumulates on top of your juice is a good indicator of how much air has been whipped into your juice by the machine, and more air exposure equals more oxidation. Oxidation is a controversial topic. As Harold McGee explains in On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, “Because juicing mixes together the contents of living cells, including active enzymes and various reactive and oxygen-sensitive substances, fresh juices are unstable and change rapidly.” So the prevailing theory among juicers is that if less oxygen is whipped into a juice, the valuable nutrients and enzymes remain more intact. But as Kohler told us, there’s not much peer-reviewed research on how or if oxidation affects the nutrient contents of your juice. “It’s all manufacturers’ data for the most part,” he said, “which I take with a grain of salt.” That said, we still prioritized machines that produced less foam, because at the very least, oxidation can cause your green juice to turn brown, and may lead to some muddy, off flavors.
The Hurom comes with a lidded pitcher for collecting juice, but its slow-turning auger produced so little splatter that we also had no problem putting our own glass directly under the juice spout. Clean juicing makes for means you’re not beholden to the Hurom’s pitcher, making it easier to juice straight into your to-go cup and reducing counter clean-up. (When we tried this with the Juiceman, we ended up with a foot-wide splatter radius.)